Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Newcastle United Facing Stiff Competition For This Crystal Palace Winger: Should Howe Bring Him On Board?

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

In a recent print edition, The Sunday Mirror (9/4; page 76) mentioned that Newcastle United are facing stiff competition for Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha. It has been claimed that the Magpies will have to compete with West Ham United in the race to secure the services of the Ivory Coast international.

Zaha’s Important Role For Crystal Palace This Season

Zaha is having a season of mixed emotions at Selhurst Park as he has struggled to be consistent with his offensive contributions for the Eagles over the past eight months. The Abidjan-born talent has found the back of the net six times and earned three assists in 25 appearances for the London club during this campaign across multiple competitions.

The 30-year-old has given a good account of himself in the final third and has done well to average 2.4 shots, 1.0 key passes and 1.9 dribbles per 90 minutes in Premier League football. He has even been accurate with his link-up play in the final third, as evidenced by his pass success rate of 81.4% in the English top flight (stats via whoscored).

His current contract with the Eagles is set to run out at the end of this campaign. Therefore, the Magpies have a good chance of landing Zaha on a free transfer later this summer.

Wilfried Zaha
LONDON, ENGLAND – MARCH 19: Wilfried Zaha of Crystal Palace reacts after a missed scoring opportunity during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Crystal Palace at Emirates Stadium on March 19, 2023 in London, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Should Newcastle United Boss Eddie Howe Bring Zaha On Board?

Zaha remains an excellent dribbler with the ball at his feet and can make a few dangerous runs with the ball on the attacking end of the pitch. He has got the vision to create some decent openings for his teammates in the final third and can strike the ball with venom from long range.

The Ivory Coast sensation can be a good finisher in front of the opponent’s goal when he is playing with confidence on the pitch. However, he has struggled to be consistent with his productivity in the final third this season.

Still, Newcastle should consider bringing Zaha on board as he will be available as a free agent this summer. He would bring plenty of pace and goals to Eddie Howe‘s attack and could help the Magpies challenge for some top honours over the next few years. At 30, Zaha will be a good, short-term acquisition for the Tyneside club to pull off during this summer transfer period.

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